Monthly Archives: December 2012

MY KINDNESS JAR

This is my 2013 Kindness Jar. mixed nuts

Each day I will write a note about a kindness, a good thought, or an inspiration and I will put it in this jar.

At the end of the year I will read all 365 notes and see how I have done. At the very least, for a moment or two each day, I will focus on something positive long enough to write it down.

And that is a good thing.

I found this container at my Grandpa’s house after he passed away several years ago. I use it for post-it note-ideas, but will empty it to make room for all of the upcoming daily bits of happiness.

Notice the jar’s label. Appropriately named. Just for me. Ha ha. You gotta love it.

mixed nuts upclose

2013 is going to be a great year.

And this nut wants to ensure that she takes a moment out of every single day to notice and appreciate the good things.

So here goes . . .

And Happy New Year, my friends! Thank you for your laughter, inspiration, support, and comfort. You mean the world to me. Please be safe and be well.

Until next year . . .

(p.s.  This is not my original idea. I saw this idea of a jar online, tweeked it, made it mine, and ran with it!)

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Categories: Inspiration/Motivation, Kindness & Compassion | Tags: , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

CHRISTMAS MORNING

I awaken early. It is still dark. And quiet.

“Merry Christmas” I whisper to the dog as I rise.

Not too many tears this morning. I’m sort of tear-ed out. Although I fight the good fight, it’s been a long pre-holiday week of them.

I feed the animals and take my coffee to the sofa.

I switch on my Christmas angel and she quietly changes from glowing red to green to blue. She is my only decoration.

angel in globe

I pray.

I have already grieved those I’m missing and cried the tears of things that are no longer; the excitement of Christmas morning and gifts piled high around the tree, and the comfort of family gathered around the table for a meal.

Those seats are empty now. Those times have passed. As have too many loved ones. As do all the holidays anymore.

No more celebrations. Just endurances.

But that’s okay.

I think of friends who have risen early to ready themselves for a busy family day of gifts and food. They enjoy their quiet time to reflect and prepare. They fill my heart, but how I envy them.

My thoughts are interrupted by a commotion in the kitchen.

I look up to see that the cat is eating the dog’s food . . . and the dog is humping his Blue Bear.

((Sigh))

This time of year can be rough on some of us.

blue bear

Merry Christmas, my friends.

I wish you love, peace, health, and happiness.

xoxoJulia

Categories: Family, Friends, God/Spiritual, Grief/Healing, Holidays/Birthdays | Tags: , , , , , , | 26 Comments

PRECIOUS WATER LILY

A water lily is born in the darkness beneath the water, and grows upward, reaching towards the light. When it arrives at the surface, it is there that it blossoms . . . in the sunlight.

Similarly, our grief is born in the darkness of loss, where we struggle in our hopelessness to find the light again.

When we reach the surface, that place of bitter/sweet sad acceptance, it is there that we begin to grow.

The sun may not feel as bright, but it is still warm.

And although we are not the same as we once were . . .

WATER LILIEScloseup

. . . we can still blossom again.

In our grief we may be overcome by the emptiness and pain of our loss, and isolate. We want to seclude ourselves from what we need the most; the care and comfort from those we love.

It is good to say the words . . .

WATER LILIESblog

“I am not alone”.

 

Categories: Grief/Healing, Nature | Tags: , , , , , , | 36 Comments

AN AUTHOR, AN ANGEL & A HEALING BRICK

I lost my infant son almost 30 years ago.

He was my only child and I donated his tiny precious body to Science in the hopes that through medical education he could somehow prevent another person from knowing my heartbreak.

I knew I didn’t need a gravesite to honor him; I could honor him in my heart. And I didn’t think I needed a piece of granite to grieve him.

But I was wrong.

Last year, I learned about Richard Paul Evans, author of the book, “The Christmas Box”, and about a statue that he commissioned called, “The Christmas Box Angel Statue”.

The short version is this:

He wrote a fictional story in which he mentioned a woman grieving the loss of her baby while at the foot of a beautiful statue of an angel.

The book was published and soon grieving readers began inquiring of the location of the statue, and since it no longer existed, the author had one created.

It is bronze and beautiful, and surrounded by a hexagon of 800 paving bricks, which can be purchased and engraved with a name or message in honor of a lost child.

angel statue frm afar

There are now Christmas Box Angel Statues all across the country and each year on December 6th at 7:00 pm, there is a candlelight vigil held at every one of them.

Last year I got my son’s engraved memory brick. The first time I saw it, I was overwhelmed. I had no idea how desperately I needed healing. Until it happened.

I wrote this piece a few months later:

THE HEALING BRICK

Nervously, I approach the Angel Statue thinking I’ll have to search for my son’s recently engraved and installed paving brick, but I look down and there it is, nestled in amongst all the other little angels, his name in print, for the entire world to see.

This sight provokes something unfamiliar in me, deep in my soul, in my very core. I kneel down and through my thin grey slacks I can feel the cold, hard, roughness of the bricks on my knees.

“My knees could bleed as I pay homage”, I think, as if atoning, “let them; I would almost be grateful.”

I touch his name.

“Oh sweetie, look at you; you’re finally here.” I whisper.

006

Humbly, I bend down and kiss his words. Instantly I flash back to the hospital and he is in my arms again, and now I am not feeling the cold textured brick, but I am kissing his face.

I open my eyes, tears streaming.

Like a cat coughing up an unmanageable hairball, thirty years of guilt, grief, and torment begin to rise, large and ugly, from deep within and catch in my throat.

I remember when I was pregnant with him and how I didn’t watch my diet and I didn’t reduce my stress and I didn’t get enough sleep. And I remember laboring, and how I screamed, “Don’t let me die!” but I didn’t scream for the life of my own son.

“Please, forgive me.” I whisper.

I hear a guttural animal groan escape from inside me as the words allow my agony to detach itself and release.

I was like a broken bone that had healed misaligned and needed to be re-broken so that it could be set right and mend properly.

Michael’s brick has been my one quick SNAP! I am now re-broken, re-set, and relieved.

I am deeply comforted and grateful, and finally healing well.

*****

I cherish the moments. Please read, “WOULD I GRIEVE A SUNRISE?” at: http://wp.me/p2ckKM-cH.

Will you please share this? Too often the loss of an infant is suffered quietly and alone, and whether it was yesterday or 30 years ago, healing is needed. I hope that this helps you or someone you know.

For the location of a Christmas Box Angel Statue near you, or information about purchasing a memory brick, please visit the website of Richard Paul Evans at: www.richardpaulevans.com/angel-statues/locations.

Categories: Grief/Healing, Holidays/Birthdays, Inspiration/Motivation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 63 Comments

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